Friday, April 24, 2020

Dancing publicly, but in my living room, and other quarantine adventures...

Hello friends, and TGIF? Maybe? It's so weird anymore, the week days and weekends don't seem as much different from each other as they used to, but we do what we can. I do prefer weekends still because I don't have to chase after the kids to complete their school work, but at the same time, without the structure of having some schoolwork to do, and really no place for them to go right now, it's difficult to keep them entertained for long. We're doing the best we can. We're going to all be home definitely through May 15th here in NY, and I'm expecting news in the next 1-2 weeks about the rest of the school year.

I had mentioned that last weekend I was invited to dance in an online show, which meant that I put on makeup (the first time in what feels like forever) including false eyelashes, pulled on a dance costume, put on ACTUAL JEWELRY, warmed up, moved some furniture, and then danced in my living room for hundreds of people to see. 🤣 It was a bit surreal, to be honest, but I have to say that I *really* enjoyed it! It felt SO GOOD to perform again, and having that performance to prepare for gave me a happy project and a sense of purpose for a solid week leading up to this. It went really well, and I was on a dance high all day on Sunday as a result. Monday left me with up and down emotions again just like every day since this nightmare began, but any little escape is a good thing right now, to my mind. I have another show May 2nd, and I'm sooooo grateful for this!

The other happy distraction I've been indulging in of late is my yarn crafting, and today I thought I'd share this fun little tidbit with you: this weekend is the traditional Local Yarn Shop Day, with lots of yarn shopping and little celebrations, which of course is not taking place in person like usual due to our current global health crisis. So this year it is being hosted online, with yarn shops around the country all sponsoring the beautiful shawl pattern pictured below from casapinka:

There is a list linked in the pattern page I posted above of participating yarn shops, sorted by location. If you purchase a yarn kit to make this shawl from them, they will email you a code to download the pattern for free this weekend. I ended up ordering a kit from Four Purls, a mint combined with a heathered gray called Raindrops, and I'm SO EXCITED. I'm happily awaiting my pattern download code this morning!

So that's what has been happening with me. How about you? Any happy distraction ideas? :-) I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

We all need our friends right now, even if we can't see them in person...

Hi all! This will be a quick check-in for the week, as if I'm being honest, things aren't so great right now. I'm worried sick about the kids, who are struggling mightily with being cooped up in the house all the time, and with zero routine or social interaction with anybody but us. We're all struggling with it, and there are no easy answers. This isn't to complain, just to say that my time is pressed quite a bit right now giving them the attention that they need. 

What I'd like to do is come up with a posting plan/theme for Easter season, and that'll take a week or so. In the meantime, my monthly post is up at Catholic Mom, and it really speaks to what is on my heart right now:

Even though I haven't seen my local friends in over a month, their presence in my life has been joy-giving to the utmost. Checking in with differnet groups of them each day has kept me sane and given me little smiles to look forward to throughout each day. It means the world to me.

I'm performing in an online dance show this weekend, that should be...interesting, and perhaps fodder for next week. :-) I'm not used to dancing for an "audience" in the middle of my living room, to be sure. But that's been a welcome distraction. In the meantime, hang in there, everyone. Each week perhaps I'll spotlight some small joy that we can revel in while we are at home? My wheels are turning, for sure. :-) Do you have any ideas for the blog community this Easter season? Drop them into the comments!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Strangest Triduum ever coming up, and just trying to hang in there...

A very blessed Holy Thursday to all of you. *hugging* I'm going to be honest and admit that this entire Holy Week has not felt like Holy Week to me at all. Being cut off from the liturgies is making me feel so disconnected, and well, depressed. I've been struggling. As have we all, I know. So I'm not expecting much tonight, as I know my kids won't exactly be all excited about watching all of these liturgies on TV (Sunday mass is hard enough), so I'm not sure what I'll be able to experience tonight. As the title of this post indicates, I'm just trying to hang in there. I did make two curbside pickups yesterday for Easter chocolate and handmade seasonal soaps and lip balms for the kids' baskets, which perked me up a bit.

I've also been working away on my Our Lady Star of the Sea shawl:

I'm now into the blue lace section as you can see, and will soon begin melting that color in with a blush pink! I also experimented with a new local farm share box this week, and I have to say, I'm quite pleased!

There are mushrooms in the paper bag, and potatoes underneath the bananas! They ran out of micro greens, so substituted in non-local bananas, but my family loves bananas, so this worked out well. We're very basic produce consumers, if that makes any sense, so this box is perfect for us. Lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, eggs, bell peppers, seasonal fruit...these are things that we eat in abundance. Lesser known vegetables are a harder sell. ;-)

Henry was busy with his online school work this week (which he is much more independent with, being in 9th grade), but Anne still requires quite a bit of guidance and intervention from Mike and I. Given that it's Holy Week, I chose to have her work on the banner for her First Communion, although our date for that has been pushed off, and we have no idea yet when it will be rescheduled. *sob*

My cutie pie

Finished product!
Besides knitting and crocheting, I am decidedly *not* crafty, and so these pre-cut out kits are a life saver for us! I also meal planned for the week:

Takeout this week is pizza from a local Italian restaurant, and you can see that our Lenten Friday meal is potato soup in the crockpot.

This isn't the exact recipe that we use, but it's very close. Instead of mashing the potatoes after they cook (???) I recomment using an immersion blender if you have one! Substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth and eliminate the bacon for the full-on vegetarian/Lenten Friday version!

How is your Triduum starting out, friends? What are you planning to do over the course of the next 4 days to keep our traditions alive at home? I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Lenten Theme of the Week: Patience, and more meatless lasagna talk...

Happy Thursday everyone, how are you all doing? 🤗 This is week 3 of us all being home (it's likely something similar for you), and all I know is that we still have a long way to go. I'm just rying to hang in there.

And that's why I chose patience as our theme of the week. I don't know about you, but I'm struggling  mentally and emotionally with not interacting face-to-face with anyone outside of my household into the foreseeable future. But we must be patient. No matter what, Holy Week is next week, and Easter will come. Good things are on the horizon, we must just be patient.

Every day, I've been taking an online dance or fitness class via Zoom, and this has been a huge source of respite for me. I have come to really look forward to these times, and have a little area set up in our office/guest room for me to move around nicely in there. I'm trying to look at the positives of the situation, and one of them is that I have the opportunity to study with dancers whom I wouldn't be able to normally, due to location. So that's a big yay!

I've also been crafting during our family relaxation time in the evenings. I finished this mosaic crochet tote, which is a gift for a beloved friend!

Free Mosaic Crochet Tote Bag pattern!

The technique was new for me, and challenging at first, but once I got it, I really enjoyed it. I love the finished result! I also pulled some yarn out from my stash (and isn't this was yarn hoarders have been waiting for for YEARS, our accumulated yarn stash is there for us during the lean times 😍):

Expression Fiber Arts Oasis Camel Silk Fingering in "Weekend Vibes"

...and I had a lot of soothing fun with my yarn swift and winder:

...and last night I started this new shawl:

Pattern is Polygonia, from the spring 2020 issue of Interweave Crochet
When it's finished, it will coordinate with the dress that I have picked out for Anne's First Communion ceremony, though I now have no idea when that will even be. *sob* I'm also still working on the Our Lady Star of the Sea inspired shawl:

Pattern is Find Your Fade
...and am about to move into the lace segment for the aqua yarn. This has all been bringing me a tremendous amount of needed distraction and solace.

With the kids, we've been trying to work with them on their schoolwork as best we can. Last Friday, we took Anne on a field trip to a local historic cemetery to walk around. That sounds strange, but this cemetery is actually a landmark around here, it's quite vast and there are tons of walking paths. While cemeteries aren't normally uplifting places, this trip brought us all some much needed time outside in the sun, and peaceful time within our own heads. We also visited with some cute ducks there:

I'm really feeling for the kids, who rarely get out of the house these days. I know that this is what we're supposed to be doing right now, but it definitely isn't altogether good for children to be cooped up so much inside. I've been encouraging to go out into our yard as much as the weather will allow. Anne has also been able to participate in her Tae Kwon Do classes online via Zoom, which has been excellent.

As we near the end of Lent, our menus are uninspired (just don't have the energy these days), but they do still exist, and that's what counts:

The requirement to abstain from meat on Fridays has not been lifted in our diocese, and this week we're planning to grab some takeout fish fry from a local restaurant. This particular restaurant, however, also has a vegetarian lasagna option that got my wheels turning, since we had a fun chat in the Facebook group and in the post comments last week about lasagna and different cheeses. They offer a sweet banana pepper lasagna, and YUM, that's what I'm getting. :-) I'll be so curious to try this, and I found this recipe online for Sweet Pepper Lasagna if you'd like to try your own!

How are you holding up this week, my friends? I'd love to hear from you in the comments. *heart*